Ratings: Reform increases lead over EKRE
While in November, Reform Party dropped to third place in the Estonian political party ratings, the results of the year-end poll, have the party reclaiming its top position and has once more begun increasing its lead over runner-up opposition Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and junior government partner Center Party.
According to the results of the latest poll taken by Norstat for the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Reform is supported by 24.2 percent and EKRE and the Center Party both by 20.7 percent of voting-age citizens.
Support for Reform grew by 1.1 percentage points week over week. The prime minister's party has seen its standing improve by 3.5 percentage points in December and has reclaimed the first place. Support for EKRE, which is exhibiting a downward trend, dropped another 1.2 percentage points over the week, and the party now shares second and third place with Center. Reform's lead over the two parties is 3.5 percentage points.
The top three are followed by Eesti 200 with 15.9 percent, opposition Isamaa with 8.1 percent and opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 7.7 percent and. Support for Eesti 200 has been exhibiting a growth trend since the end of October and is now nearing the record high level of the start of 2021. Isamaa is ahead of SDE for the first time since spring 2019.
The two parties of the government coalition - Reform and Center Party - are supported by altogether 44.9 percent of voters and those of the opposition by 36.5 percent.
Researcher Martin Mölder said that the biggest change in party ratings is Reform having reclaimed its lead position. He added that the party's lead by 3.5 percentage points over the two runners-up, EKRE and Center, is partially attributable to growth in support for Reform but also to a decline in EKRE's popularity.
"With a few exceptions, the changes have rather been general. Support for the Reform Party has been volatile in the youngest age group and the party has also seen its popularity grow among voters earning lower than the average salary. With regard to EKRE, we've seen support decline rather among voters with lower education levels whereas it has remained relatively stable among voters with higher education," Mölder said.
"The growth trend in support for Eesti 200 continues. This non-parliamentary party is about to reclaim the level of support it saw during the peak of marriage referendum talks at the end of last year. Growth in their popularity has been notable among voters with children and the elderly. Support for Eesti 200 has also significantly grown among Russian-speaking voters. Support for the party was relatively equal among all ethnic groups ahead of the local elections but dropped notably among Russian-speaking voters after election day. At the moment, we're seeing this gap narrow once more," he added.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste